We can’t possibly condone what Hamas did. They force us into one position, which is to say, ‘You are evil people, you have done an evil act, and consequences must flow from this.’ But we hope that this issue is resolved, which means finalised, which means that the appropriate outcome is reached, which means that the structure of this evil organisation that is Hamas is disassembled. But we hope and we pray that this happens with the least amount of innocent lives lost from this point forward.
Mr J OYCE (New England) (19:15): Flectere si nequeo superos Acheronta movebo. What precisely does that mean? In a very brief summary, it means: if you can’t affect heaven, affect hell—change hell—with ‘Acheron’ being the river, like the River Styx, which Charon carried people across to take them to the underworld. You’ve got to concentrate on affecting heaven. You’ve got to concentrate on the process of abiding by your higher angels, abiding by the better instincts, abiding by the mechanism of dispute in a form that is not this ritualistic, nihilistic, outrageous appropriation that we saw Hamas, a terrorist organisation—I was Deputy Chair of the National Security Committee when we made it a terrorist organisation—partake in the other day. This achieves nothing except retribution. It achieves nothing except retribution. In that retribution, unfortunately, innocent people will be killed. That becomes yet another profanity on top of what Hamas did.
When you think about it, who gave the order to behead children? Who was the commanding officer who decided that was an appropriate order to give? Who was the commanding officer who decided an appropriate order was to murder people at a dance festival—youths, people in their early 20s, celebrating peace, basically your greatest advocates to try and move an agenda forward? Who gave that order? Who is it that evil man? Who is that evil person who decided to do that? Who was the commanding officer who said, ‘You must murder parents. You must shoot them as they protect their babies.’ Who was the evil man who gave that order? Who is that person? Evil, where do you reside? Where do you reside? Why do you wake up and decide that that is the purpose of your life—this outrage? Who was the evil man who said it was appropriate to murder a woman and then have other people spit on her dead body and parade it through Gaza? Who was that evil man? To what fathomless depth could a person, a human being, decide that that was appropriate? Why do that? Who was the evil person who said, ‘Kidnap people. Kidnap them. Bring them back across the border, and then, at a time, we will murder them and put it on social media’? This is an outrage.
What happens when you sow that seed, Hamas? What happens? You reap the wind. Now, it is unfortunate—not every Palestinian is in Hamas, but every Palestinian is going to be affected by this. There are people now, innocent people, who are going to be killed. A bomb will drop on a house. A family will die. Children will die. War is an outrageous, disgusting thing. I can say that, as a former serving member of the Australian Defence Force. We serve because we don’t want wars, not because we do. Yet these evil men have decided to bring this to fruition.
The thing about evil is that you never know where it ends. It is the ultimate Pandora’s box, isn’t it? You open the box and you don’t know what happens next. We don’t know what the next step is. We know what is happening. We know that the US are moving aircraft carriers closer to the coast. We know that Hezbollah are in the Bekaa Valley and are trying to open up a second front. We know the Iranians are now planning—does Hamas honestly believe that this will help the Palestinian people? Does Hamas honestly believe that this is a better outcome for the people in the Gaza Strip and the people in the West Bank? Do they understand the retribution and the dragons and the filth that is war that they have now launched on innocent people?
So what do we do next? What do we do next? How do we do this? We can’t possibly condone what Hamas did. They force us into one position, which is to say, ‘You are evil people, you have done an evil act, and consequences must flow from this.’ But we hope that this issue is resolved, which means finalised, which means that the appropriate outcome is reached, which means that the structure of this evil organisation that is Hamas is disassembled. But we hope and we pray that this happens with the least amount of innocent lives lost from this point forward. And I’m not alone in that. That’s also Secretary Blinken’s position—the least amount of innocent lives lost. When you have good people, and 99.9 per cent of the world are good people, and you put them in the same room, a Palestinian and a Jew—they’re decent people—do you know what? They’ll talk to each other.
In my own life, I’ve had strong connections—besides being very sympathetic to Palestine, very sympathetic. On the Northern Ireland issue, which is on another side of my family, from talking to people in Northern Ireland about what happened in Northern Ireland and trying to be involved in that discussion, the wisest thing that was said to me was by a cousin. He said, ‘Yes, there are issues here, but it is not worth one drop of human blood, and people who kill people, Barnaby, are criminals.’ And isn’t it a beautiful thing that that greater angel, that better angel, rises above the filth and says, ‘Just treat human beings with dignity; just be a better person’?
In closing, please do not bring your rubbish into this great egalitarian nation. You are absolutely within your rights to raise concerns that you may have on certain issues—100 per cent within your rights to raise concerns that you may have. But you have no right to vomit out this filth that we have heard. That is not Australia. When you come to Australia, no matter how many generations you may have been here, as part of this nation you sign a contract that you will abide by the egalitarian principles of this nation: ‘I will participate in the debate, but I will treat with respect even a person who has the opposite opinion to me. I will respect their humanity. I will respect their equivalence. I will respect their right to live.’
I was so disturbed by some of the issues that have come to the fore with this.
So I hope and pray that innocent people are not killed. I hope and pray that the criminality which is Hamas is dealt with expediently and quickly without the unnecessary loss of other lives. And I hope and pray that the egalitarian nation of Australia is never adulterated.